MultiChoice to offer video rentals, porn channels? - TechCentral

MultiChoice to offer video rentals, porn channels?

Couch Potato

Video stores, watch out! MultiChoice, which operates the DStv satellite pay-TV service, is considering launching a video rental service.

However, instead of renting movies on DVD or Blu-ray disc, MultiChoice will provide the service — if it launches it, which appears likely — via satellite to users of its personal video recorder (PVR) decoders.

The content will be downloaded to the hard disk drives of consumers’ PVRs over the same satellite that delivers DStv broadcasts.

At the moment, only users of the company’s standard-definition PVR are able to receive these video-on-demand (VOD) services, though the functionality will be added soon to the high-definition PVR.

Though MultiChoice already offers a free VOD service — its broadcasts a “catch-up” service of television shows that have already been screened — the company is considering offering the latest content available on the video circuit, at a fee.

If it begins offering a transactional VOD service, it would put it in direct competition with video stores, which have historically had access to the latest movies several months before they are made available to pay-TV broadcasters.

The company recently asked some of its customers whether they’d subscribe to a transactional VOD service, which it has apparently dubbed DStv OnDemand.

MultiChoice asked customers how often they’d use the service, how much they’d be prepared to pay for it, what they’d like to rent, and whether they’d want the content in high definition.

A company spokesman says no decision has been made yet on whether or not to launch the transactional VOD service. A decision should be made soon, though.

Meanwhile, MultiChoice says it is considering launching a pornographic channel. It has launched a survey on its website to gauge interest in such a service.

According to a report published in Afrikaans newspaper Die Burger, the company may launch “sex channels” soon. The report quotes MultiChoice corporate affairs GM Jackie Rakitla saying that the company has been “inundated with requests for adult content on DStv over the past few months”.

“At this stage, we’re merely doing research to determine the extent of interest in adult content, and we’re looking at the feasibility of implementing such a service.”  — Duncan McLeod, TechCentral

5 Comments

  1. It is about time…. finally. The thought of not having to do the mad rush to return movies after work in rush hour traffic … go ahead DSTV I will definitely use that service.

  2. They tried PPV quite a good couple of years ago and failed and I think this was due to the high price of R30 that they charged at the time.

    If they want to attract me as a VOD customer and detract me from video rental stores, they need to pull a huge rabbit out of the hat with the following.
    1. 5.1 Dolby Digital surround
    2. Widescreen only. No 4:3.
    3. HD movies w/ DD surround where possible.
    4. Priced at or below what video rental stores charge for a DVD rental. Allow for the purchase of credits at a reduced rate per movie.

    I’m sorry, but if they don’t deliver these key requirements, I have no problems renting DVDs at the local video store since that is what I currently get.

    Although renting in the confort of your living room is a sure convenience, I am not willing to sacrifice the quality of movies that I watch as well as pay an arm and a leg for them.

  3. @Glen – if they get that right it’d be a good service – especially with the possibility of HD, so that people could get better than DVD quality. It’d almost make it not worth dropping R2000 on a bluray player and renting blurays if there were similar movies in 720p with DSTV rentals.

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